Mozambique: Flood Emergency

Situation Report
Originally published
Save the Children is responding to the urgent needs of Mozambican children and families left homeless by the devastating floods brought about by persistent rain and Cyclone Eline. Estimates range between 600,000 and one million people have been driven from their homes.
Food is scarce and even where food is available, transport has been complicated by damaged infrastructure

The surging Limpopo River is still rising, as rain continues to fall in upstream South Africa. Displaced residents of the most severely affected areas bordering the river have been warned not to return to their villages in anticipation of higher water levels in coming days.

Save the Children is utilizing agency staff and resources to provide round-the-clock support for the homeless families.

Children always pay an especially heavy toll in emergencies, and Save the Children is initiating health programs largely focusing on cholera prevention for this most vulnerable population

Effects of the Flood Crisis

  • displacement of hundreds of thousands of people whose homes have been lost. An estimated 600,000 people, have been forced from their homes.
  • the loss of food, crops and seed stock; over 200,000 people are estimated in need of immediate short-term food assistance.
  • widespread contamination of water supplies.
  • disease, particularly widespread diarrhea and malaria, with potential outbreaks of cholera, meningitis and measles.
  • destruction of health posts and schools.
  • destruction of thousands of kilometers of roads, complicating the delivery of emergency supplies to the homeless.
Impact on Children

Children pay an especially heavy toll in emergencies. Disease, malnutrition, a scarcity of food and safe drinking water and homelessness have become an immediate reality for thousands of children in Mozambique in recent weeks-this in a country where infant mortality is already among the world=B9s highest and where stunting affects 55 percent of children under 5 years of age.

Beyond the possibility of cholera and malaria epidemics, a growing concern is that of probable rising malnutrition rates among children, particularly those under 5 years of age. Even where food is available, transport to the needy has been complicated by the absence of passable roads.

Save the Children US Response

Save the Children US is utilizing agency staff and resources to address urgent needs of displaced victims of this widespread flooding. Our round-the-clock humanitarian efforts include:

  • operating health programs for the displaced and most vulnerable populations, largely focusing on cholera prevention campaigns.
  • assisting with the management and distribution of supplies (food and non-food) in Gaza province, with responsibility for the Chibuto supply operation.
  • assisting UNICEF with an assessment and eventual reconstruction and re-supply of primary schools in Gaza.
    preparing to distribute seed kits to the neediest families in Gaza Province once the waters recede enough for planting.
Background on Save the Children's Work in Mozambique

One of the most devastated regions of Mozambique is Gaza Province, where Save the Children has been active health, education in, agriculture and income generation programs. Save the Children-US has been working in Mozambique since 1988. Its program has evolved from its original focus of assisting children caught up in a protracted civil war to an integrated package of interventions that assist Mozambican communities in Gaza and Nampula provinces to create and sustain an environment in which their children can survive and thrive. Today, nearly 300,000 children and adults benefit from these ongoing community development programs.